“The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while other cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.” The words of Matthew’s gospel seem to ring a little empty this morning. There are no crowds here, no excitement and enthusiasm, no waving of palm branches to be blessed. It all seems so surreal. How is it that a virus has robbed Christians from celebrating the most holy and sacred time of the year? And quite likely it will be the same on Easter Sunday. These several weeks of no public Masses, no Holy Week liturgies, no Easter due to the COVID-19 virus has made me reflect on how lucky we are to weekly celebrate as a community the mysteries of our faith. It makes me reflect upon the Catholics throughout the world who only have a priest come once a month or even just once a year to celebrate Mass with them. How do they sustain and nurture their faith without weekly celebrating the Eucharist? It is so central to who we are as Catholics! They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder! I can only imagine their hunger. And now we get a taste of what some Catholics throughout the world experience throughout their lives. In the several weeks that you have not been able to receive communion, I pray that the absence indeed has made your heart grow fonder! And when we are able to celebrate public Masses again, I hope that you who come every week, and those who have been away for awhile will fill our church with loud Hosannas!!
Please be sure to check our website and app for resources to celebrate Holy Week at home. Let us not loose our sense of community…..join us for our livestreamed liturgies. In the meantime, know that Fr. Mark and I keep you in our thoughts and prayers. We miss you!! Have a blessed Holy Week!